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Hartford Courant, October 17, 1919





Last Obstacle to $5,000,000 dam in Housatonic River Removed by Action on Appeal of Landowners.


The last obstacle in the way of the Connecticut Light & Power Company’s plan to inundate miles of the Housatonic Valley by means of the $5,000,000 dam being constructed for it at Stevenson, was removed yesterday by a decision of Judge T. Warner in the Superior Court at New Haven granting a petition of the power company for a suspension of a stay of execution effected by a formal objection by certain landowners to a committee previously appointed to appraise their property for the superior court.


The case is somewhat similar to that of the Town of Southbury, whose appeal from the finding of $10,000 by Judge Lucien F. Burpee as a fair price for the so-called River Road in Southbury and Oxford, was disallowed by Judge B>N last week on the ground that it was taken merely for the purpose of delaying the company’s project.  As a result of Judge Warner’s action of yesterday, the power company will be free, upon payment of the amount for which the property of litigants is to be appraised, to proceed with the ponding of water behind the gigantic dam on November 1.  The dam will be used for the generation of electricity by water power and is expected to effect an annual savings of at least $1,000,000 in coal.


Appointment of the appraisal committee was made by Judge Warner several weeks ago. James T. Smith of Ansonia, Harrison Hewlit of New Haven and Henry Beardsley of Newtown were named as members of the committee, with instructions to determine a fair valuation of the property of Nathan W. Hendryx of New Haven and others, including one Cassidy, McCarthy and Hamilton, needed by the power company to make possible the flooding of the area back of the great dam.


Through their lawyers, Judge Henry Stoddard of New Haven, the landowners appealed to the supreme court from the appointment of the committee, which constituted a stay of execution against the power company, during the existence of which the company was restrained from inundating the land in question, which abuts roads intersecting the so-called River Road bought by the company for $10,000.


It was to have this stay of execution suspended so that the plans of the company could be continued that the petition was made to Judge Warner. A hearing on the matter was held yesterday in the Superior Court at New Haven and Judge Warner granted the petition as being proper for the due administration of justice.


The appraisal committee will now be allowed to proceed with the appraisal of the land in question and, upon reporting to the judge of the court, the power company will be expected to pay for the land at the figures reported by the committee.  If the litigants refuse to accept such sums as may be determined by the appraisal committee, the power company will have the alternative of paying the money to the treasurer of New Haven County, in which the land is situated, and be free to proceed with the flooding of the territory of which the land is a part.


At the same time yesterday, Judge Warner suspended stay of execution brought about by an appeal by the Town of Southbury from a decision of Judge Warner closing about five small roads in Southbury and Oxford upon payment of a certain sum to the towns by the power company.

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